Ethernet Switch- what's the point?

I run an Ethernet cable between my router (standard issue from Verizon) and my streaming transport. I note that some use an ethernet switch between between the router and streamer. Assuming I got that right, what is the point- what does a good switch do? I've been into audio since the 70's but when its comes to streaming, I'm definitely a newbie- 

Thanks all!



"Fiber and be done."

Why does fibre not need a switch? I have fibre and am thinking of getting one until your post.

Thanks in advance. 


@jon2020 sorry for the confusion, you do need a switch. You do not need a $1200.00 or even $800.00 switch as you are converting from the dirty Ethernet side to clean noiseless fiber. Look at the converters on Amazon and you can do finder (short runs) for unsolder $200.00. 

@bkeske Thank you for a voice of reason.

OP this is a great and simple summary of what bkeske uses. I have decided to go this route as I have been streaming wirelessly from my router with no noticeable issues but want to see if I can hear any differences. In a system well north of $50k this seems like a small investment worth trying.



@jmbumgarner01  @zavato 

I was also using my streamer wirelessly too, but wasn't happy with the sound quality vs. CD play, or playing directly from my HD 'server' connected to the streamer directly.

As I had a router/extender being used elsewhere, but not critical, I moved that extender down to my Audio rig location and utilized it to hardwire to my streamer direct. This alone helped, but adding the converters between the router/extender and the streamer, made a another nicer improvement in SQ.

So a good network switch can reduce noise and distortion, some of which comes from jitter. Anything else? How much of a difference should one expect? Like going from -90 dB to -95 dB noise to signal? Is it something very subtle but still worthwhile for some, or something quite loud and obvious to some, more so than typical room reflections and diffraction effects? I get the impression it's something far to subtle for me, and yet I can easily hear the difference between live music and any high end 2 speaker system.